Burning of Peat Moorlands - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:35 pm on 14th October 2020.

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Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) 12:35 pm, 14th October 2020

The science continues to evolve; it is not a matter of it being out of date. The Government are well aware of the wildfire risk presented by dry conditions on moorlands. Natural England has carried out a review of the causes, the severity and the management practices best placed to mitigate that risk, and we are considering that alongside other evidence. Some of the clearest evidence that we have is that ensuring that peatlands are wet and in a natural state is the best way to minimise wildfire risk. It also tells us that managed burning results in an increase in vegetation types, such as heather, which have a higher fuel load as compared with natural blanket bog vegetation.